This site's author is quite familiar with the issues of fraud and embezzlement. In 1985, as part of a requirement to achieve recognition as a Fellow in a professional organization related to my employment, I authored a master's level thesis titled "White Collar Crime in the White Uniform World", published in the organization's journal. For several years in the early 2000s, I was a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. I've found cases of fraud and embezzlement in my professional field and have assisted in successful prosecutions of embezzlers, testifying as an expert witness leading to 'hard time' for the criminals involved. Perhaps more than any 99.9% of all other Masons (and, more especially, 'fake' Masons) who've commented on theft/embezzlement in Masonic bodies, I have actual expertise in this arena. If the bloggers who're always happy to find negativity in Freemasonry wish to present their credentials showing they know more about and have more experience in this subject area than I do, their thoughts and opinions will be welcome and added here. Otherwise, you might wish to consider their gum-flapping as 'more of the same'.
Fraud and theft by embezzlement occurs throughout our society. Pick up any newspaper and during any given week you'll likely read a story about theft from a government office, a non-profit, or a local car dealership. No type of organization is immune. Freemasonry, whose membership is drawn from society, is not immune either. While it would be ideal to think that every Mason would think so highly of both the organization and himself that crime would never be a consideration, such Pollyanna is foolish. Masons are subject to greed and avarice like anyone else and, as in the society at large, sometimes they fall victim to the glitter of temptation.
In late July, 2008, the New York Times reported on potential fraud and ethics violations of the Shriners. Not long before this, Boston newspapers were reporting on a fraud and embezzlement investigation. In the words of one blogger who never misses the opportunity to denigrate the organization to which he belongs: "The Boston Herald reported on Saturday that an investigation is being conducted into allegations that as much as $1.5 million was embezzled from the 275-year old Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Does this even surprise anyone any more?" More on this below.
Another blogger offered these opinions:
There's one other point to be made here: ALL regular/recognized Grand Lodges in the United States are audited by a firm of Certified Public Accountants. This is not a 'compilation' where they simply accept the numbers they are given and put them in a form appropriate for tax filing. Rather, these firms express a professional opinion on which others, using a standard terminology, can rely. Perhaps the Squire was unaware of that as well - and if so, he might want to become better informed before 'spouting off'.
Never missing an opportunity to disparage Freemasonry, the Blog termed by some as "The Smoldering Stub" breathlessly announced that the so-called "investigative reporter" Sandy Frost had won an award from the Society of Professional Journalists saying it was "second place in online media".
Of course what was omitted was... TA DA .... the REST of the story! Here it is:
Ms. Frost, whose self-written bio on that organization's website proudly proclaims "My ledes are written for the reader who has the attention span of a flea....". She paid $15 to be considered for this particular award which was for those in her organization's Pacific Northwest Region 10, consisting of Washington and Oregon only. Her award was ONE OF - hold your hats because this is going to show you how truly exclusive and important this was! - SIX HUNDRED AND SEVEN (607) given for the approximately 80 categories they had in the competition - for JUST TWO STATES!!! (You'll forgive us if we've under or over counted by a couple. You can double check the listing yourself right here.) Now we don't want to denigrate this organization but to be honest, it sounds to us like an award that a third grade class teacher might present to every member of the class. "Mommy, mommy! I got an award of excellence from school." "How many others in your class got an award, dear?" "All of them...."
Truth be told, the next time we'd like to raise a cool $9,000+, we're going to create an organization with dues about 20% less than current lodge dues (which the moaning bloggers are always saying have 'cheapened' the organization) and then have a contest for the best something-or-another with enough categories so that EVERYONE who enters will win something they can brag about. Pretty cool idea, huh?
Once again, those who're out actively pursuing an agenda against regular/recognized Freemasonry are quick to praise others of their ilk. Here's just one example! Perhaps predictably the several comments to this blog post are all cheers from those who're part of the 'fake Masonry' crowd.
And less anyone wish to assert that this page was written for the sole purpose of 'getting even', we would call their attention to (a) our disclaimer about item selection found here and (b) our ten + year old page, regularly updated, titled "Our Black Sheep" here.
30 July 2008, updated 27 August 2008.
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